Beverly pharma robotics company names new CEO

A HighRes Bio system

By Kelly J. O’Brien – Technology Reporter, Boston Business Journal
December 20, 2018, 4:39pm EST

Beverly-based HighRes Biosolutions Inc. has named a new CEO as it aims to expand the reach of its robotic arms throughout the pharmaceutical world.

Ira Hoffman, formerly the company’s president, will become CEO of February 1, replacing current CEO Peter Harris. Hoffman has been at HighRes for more than a decade and says he first joined the company after being one of its earliest customers in his previous position as director of research and development at a Pennsylvania life sciences firm.

HighRes helps life sciences companies automate processes within their R&D labs, especially when it comes to drug discovery at pharmaceutical firms. With a combination of robotic hardware, software and lab design consulting, the company promises to make complicated tests much more efficient and reliable.

“This company exists basically because scientists speak a very complex language of science,” Harris said. Roboticists speak an equally complex language of their own, so it’s up to HighRes to translate between the two.

Founded in 2004, HighRes raised little to no outside funding before it was acquired in 2015 by Axel Johnson Inc., a Sweding-born family business that now owns and operates a small portfolio of industrial companies. The company currently brings in roughly $50 million in revenue and employs about 150 people, according to Harris.

Harris replaced HighRes founder Lou Guarracina when he stepped down from the CEO role in early 2017. Harris will be returning to his post at Axel Johnson and said his appointment to the leadership role was always meant to be temporary.

“It was our view all along that what we wanted to do was to position the company to return control to the existing leadership team,” Harris said.


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